NEW SPECIES OF MUSHROOM (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     31st October 2023        
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Context: A recently discovered tiny, fragile-looking mushroom with a honey-yellow 'cap' was found on the campus of the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) at Palode, and it has been identified as a new species.

About Study

  • Researchers at the JNTBGRI identified and described the new species as belonging to the genus Candolleomyces.
  • The new species has been named Candolleomyces albosquamosus ­ ‘albosquamosus for the white woolly scale­like structures on its pileus or cap.
  • Delicate in build, the mushroom grows to a height of just about 58 mm.
  • Seven species of the genus  Psathyrella reported earlier from India are now recognised as  Candolleomyces
  • The discovery of a new species of the genus Candolleomyces in India is special given that there are only 35 species in this genus.

Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI)

  • Established by the Government of Kerala in 1979 at Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. It functions under the umbrella of the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), Government of Kerala.

Western Ghats

  • Location: The Western Ghats form a 1600 km long mountain chain running along the west coast of India, stretching from the river Tapi in the north to Kanyakumari in the south.
  • Geographical Coverage: These mountain ranges traverse six Indian states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, each referring to them by various regional names like Sahyadri and Nilgiris.
  • Climate: Tropical humid climate, characterized by significant rainfall. 
  • World Heritage Status: In 2012, UNESCO designated the Western Ghats as a world heritage site, recognizing their ecological and cultural significance.